This week’s small pleasures #258

The past week has been such a week of contrasts, from the weather being both sunny and very wet, from cosy times at home, wonderful spring produce to an ‘anti-vaxx’ demonstration here in Wellington outside Parliament, which luckily did not turn nasty (though it most certainly could have done). There are days when I just can’t face to look at the news at the moment, but one can’t bury one’s head in the sand, and instead one needs to look for the positives like the fact that 81% of the eligible population (those 12 and over) are now vaccinated here in Aotearoa.

As reported on Saturday, the weather turned from sunshine to rain, and much of the weekend was spent indoors, with books, podcasts and cups of tea. We started watching the second series of Departure which this times focuses on a train crash, finished the latest series of Shetland and The Unlikely Murderer (which you can find on Netflix). So very much a focus on indoor activities!

Over to food corner, and I found some garlic scapes on Saturday. These are the stalks that grow from the bulbs of garlic plants. and they have a distinctly garlic flavour, though much milder. I tossed three stalks in butter to pour over roasted asparagus to have as a side dish with Saturday’s dinner. They will keep for quite a while in the fridge. I believe. On Wednesday, I enjoyed a great chicken sandwich on rosemary focaccia at favourite cafe Squirrel, and made a toad-in-the-hole for dinner that evening. Not all readers may know what it is, but it is basically sausages cooked into a batter that resembles Yorkshire pudding. I used this recipe here. I made but forgot to photograph the potato salad with peas, mint and shallots from Peter Gordon’s Savour (a book I often turn to for inspiration), and enjoyed getting pizza delivered on Friday.

We saw two films on the Film Festival this week – Bergman Island on Thursday and the documentary ‘Til Kingdom Come on Sunday. I have to say that I enjoyed Bergman Island, an interesting film exploring the relationship between a couple who are both script writers during a writing retreat on the island of Fårö where Ingmar Bergman lived and worked. I found this review sums things up rather well.

Before the film on Sunday, we had dinner at 1154 Pastaria on Cuba Street, with me opting for a carbonara, and then stopping for a drink at Puffin before the film. As to the film Israeli journalist Maya Zinshtein investigates the what one would assume unusual bonds between fundamentalist American Evangelical Christians and Israeli Jews. It was a fascinating film which I highly recommended.

What were your small pleasures this week? Here are some other blog posts from a few fellow bloggers looking at the good things in life. 

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. Does Aotearoa trip off the tongue easily? We have been through a plethora of name changes in this country over the past few years from museums and regiments to streets and towns. There is still a debate raging about the name change of our town. Thank you for mentioning my blog and the links to others – I enjoy peeping at them via your recommendations.


  2. The two films you mentioned sound very interesting. Paul and I saw Ingmar Berman years ago in Scenes from a Marriage, and I’m sure we would enjoy Bergman Island too. Til Kingdom Come also seems intriguing. Always lovely to go out to Film Festivals, it has been almost two years since we went to one in Canberra, I think the British Festival right now…we seem to be out of the way of everything this year, I blame it on Lockdown!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always enjoy your small pleasures. Seeing your lovely meals out when we were in endless lockdowns was tantalising but enjoyable. We haven’t been to the cinema for years. Small pleasures for us involve meeting up with friends again now we have had our booster jabs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m embarrassed to say that I have family members who attended that protest in Wellington. I think the biggest thing with Covid that I’ve learned is that I can only control my own behaviour, I’m not responsible for what others do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love these simple pleasures! Rainy weekends can be a good excuse for indoorsy stuff. That said, I’m done with the cold and wet here and am longing for sunshine and warmth. Hope you are having a lovely week

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can always count on your Small Pleasures post to bring a burst of happy! Even more smile-inducing than your droolicious food and reports of shows & books, is your determination to turn your attention to lovelier things than the craziness we are immersed in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meant to say I like your journal & beverage (coffee?) composition – very soothing. And I like that I can see part of you in the reflection of the cuppa.

      Liked by 1 person

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